When racial tension is at an all time high in your part of the world, even the most simplest task can seem daunting. As you walk past people of other nationalities, your thoughts and feelings may sometimes get the best of you. You may begin to ask yourself questions; Do they look at me differently? Do they think I’m racist? Do they think they are better than me? As a result, you may try to compensate for your feelings of insecurity by walking around with a bit of an ego or even an unhealthy overestimation of self-worth, feeling as if you are better than “They” are.
Here are a few positive ways you can ease racial tension and maintain a positive view of yourself and individual members of another race in your community.
Remind yourself of the good in you
One of the best ways to maintain a positive outlook on life when the world is beset by racial divide, is to remind yourself of the good in you. Take a moment, make a list and write down the positive things about yourself on the list. The list should include things about yourself that you are truly proud of and that reflect well on your desire to live in an inclusive community. The more you remind yourself of the good you do, the less insecure you will feel as you hear negative things being spoken about your race in the media or the public eye.
2. Remind yourself of the good in others
Try to remember that one bad person or even 100 bad people do not necessarily reflect the attitude and actions of an entire race of people. So, take the time to make another list. This second list should be of the good qualities you see in members of another race that you perhaps are feeling more uncomfortable or tense around. On the list, site specific positive experiences you’ve had with members of that race and how those experiences have contributed to the overall good of the community, work or school environment.
3. Do good to others
Find a positive way to volunteer or do something nice for a member of another race. It could be something as simple as buying coffee for the person behind you. It could be a genuine compliment or even something as simple as a smile as you pass by. You are making a difference in your own small way to remind others that not everything they hear about members of your race is true. You are also making someone else's day and that will make you feel really good inside!
4. Avoid negative people
At times, you may be around others who speak disparagingly of members of another race either in your inner circle or in the media. When that happens it becomes a true test of character. Will you join in, remain silent or speak up and call out the ignorance. Regardless of how you respond, it’s important to note that those we associate with regularly begin to have an influence on our thinking and emotions. That being the case we want to cut off close association with those types of negative people. Doctors have to amputate when a body part dies, in order to save a person's life. You need to do something similar with negative people. Cut them out of our circle, refuse to watch their programs and don't comment on their social media status. By taking such a firm stand, you are not allowing yourself to be drawn into pointless debates with ignorant individuals, many of whom have no real desire to change. The association and conversations will leave you feeling discouraged, angry and overall unhappy. So, save yourself!
5. Don't try so hard
It’s a natural desire for all of us to want to be loved and accepted for who we are, but have you ever noticed the way some people will try so hard for others to accept them? Sometimes, they will even attempt foolish things to be accepted by members of another race. It can be sometimes embarrassing to watch as we see them making comments or decisions that ultimately alienate them from others. Don’t do that. It’s important that you never jeopardize the health and safety of yourself or others just to try to fit in. The good old adage to be yourself applies perfectly here. You will attract the right people at the right time so stay true to the goodness in you and remember your self-worth.
When racial tensions are high you can still have a measure of peace of mind and self-worth by applying the top 5 suggestions in your life. You will make a positive difference in the lives of others and distance yourself from negative people and attitudes. The world will be a better place because of you.